8.1.4 Support to professional artists associations or unions
There are 10 artists unions in the Republic of Moldova for: Writers, Theatre Professionals, Visual Artists, Musicians (individuals), Musicians and Composers, Craftsmen, Journalists, Film Makers, Architects and a separate one for Designers. During the 1990s, the main activity of these unions changed significantly. Originally these unions were the promoters of Communist programmes. Today they have been transformed into free associations mostly kept together by professional interests (often by economic reasons) rather than by some aesthetic or conceptual doctrine.
Although their social and economic status has declined dramatically, they still maintain a level of authority and importance. On the other hand, the lack of a coherent national direction for cultural policy has meant that the unions have devised their own policies and strategies in order to help themselves out of their precarious situation.
Since 1993, the Moldovan state budget no longer provides financial assistance to artists associations. The only financial support artists unions receive from the government is through the state procurement system managed by the Ministry of Culture.
In 2009 the Ministry of Culture allocated MDL 720 000 (EUR 45 000) for 80 cultural events organised by artists' unions. The funds, according to the unions' financial reports, were used for awards, honoraria, jury remunerations, editing of programmes for events, posters and invitation letters, and for organising exhibitions and festivals.